Everyone Just Moves On
SDM’s eyes have been busy searching the horizon over the past week. After reading and following an FBI sting involving local lobbyists and two sitting mayors, we’ve taken our eye off the ball in South Dade. But, the spectacle is addictive, especially now given the critical involvement in a local Palmetto Bay lobbyist.
All of our good readers can find as much information as you can tolerate by reading local news and clicking on local blogs like Political Cortadito so we won’t get into the details on this site.
What struck us most was how quickly people just move on. What we mean is that before the scandal broke just several days ago, the individuals that were part of the scheme were active and important. Now, they are heading for oblivion as the people just move on.
The two mayors were big figures in town. One was getting ready to participate in an MMA fight for charity. He was widely considered an up and coming figure among local political heavies. He had established himself not only as the pugnacious Mayor of Miami Lakes, but also as the power broker attorney for Miami-Dade’s industrial heartland Town of Medley. He was revered by liberal bloggers because he helped knock a hated county commissioner from office. He was a rising star with an ego to match.
Today, before even a single legal hearing has been held, a ferocious game of musical chairs has begun in Miami Lakes as new faces try to take over the mayoral position. The political “body” isn’t even cold yet! But people are moving on nonetheless…on to the next guy or gal. Pretty soon, the former mayor – now disgraced, no matter what he claims in the alternative – will probably lose the town attorney job and maybe even his law license. A pretty steep fall in just a few days.
The former Mayor of Sweetwater will fare about the same. Before the ink was dry on the indictment, he was replaced as President of the Florida League of Cities. The Governor – a “friend” – was distancing himself as he signed the papers to suspend him. A once promising career is now irretrievably destroyed – doubtless justifiably so. And the people of Sweetwater are moving on, too.
And then there are the lobbyists who participated in the scheme… Reputations built over decades destroyed over night. Who will open their doors to these guys now? One of the lobbyists worked for a major law firm and that firm has already lost a major municipal client because of the scandal. Everyone moves on because in the end no one is irreplaceable.
Here at SDM, we have watched politics for a long time. People who were once humble, sometimes generous spirits become elected and they start drinking their own Koolaid, or reading their own press clippings, or…pick the metaphor. They start believing in their own political invincibility. Their hangers-on start believing it too. They begin to think they speak for the people even though – in truth – they have lost touch with regular folks.
Even in little old Palmetto Bay we can see the effects of the cult of personality. We have our own Mayor who thinks she’s in touch with the people just because a tiny group of sycophants operate as her personal echo chamber. Her followers leap to the podium at every council meeting – as if on cue – in an endless cycle of circular self-reinforcement. The inevitable result is a politician who is so out of touch that she thinks hiding the truth is somehow in the best interest of the people she “represents.”
SDM Says: Fortunately, our problems in Palmetto Bay are manageable – at the ballot box. As far as we know, our political figures are guilty merely of self-delusion, rather than self-enrichment, though in the end the result may be the same: a political tenure over, phones that have stopped ringing, egos deflated back to pre-office levels, and voters who have just moved on…